Why The Dutch Are Different: A Journey Into The Hidden Heart Of The Netherlands by Ben CoatesWhy The Dutch Are Different: A Journey Into The Hidden Heart Of The Netherlands by Ben Coates

Why The Dutch Are Different: A Journey Into The Hidden Heart Of The Netherlands

byBen Coates

Paperback | September 5, 2017

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Stranded at Schiphol airport, Ben Coates called up a friendly Dutch girl he'd met some months earlier. He stayed for dinner. Actually, he stayed for good.

In the first book to consider the hidden heart and history of the Netherlands from a modern perspective, the author explores the length and breadth of his adopted homeland and discovers why one of the world's smallest countries is also so significant and so fascinating. It is a self-made country, the Dutch national character shaped by the ongoing battle to keep the water out from the love of dairy and beer to the attitude to nature and the famous tolerance.

Ben Coates investigates what makes the Dutch the Dutch, why the Netherlands is much more than Holland and why the colour orange is so important. Along the way he reveals why they are the world's tallest people and have the best carnival outside Brazil. He learns why Amsterdam's brothels are going out of business, who really killed Anne Frank, and how the Dutch manage to be richer than almost everyone else despite working far less. He also discovers a country which is changing fast, with the Dutch now questioning many of the liberal policies which made their nation famous.

A personal portrait of a fascinating people, a sideways history and an entertaining travelogue,Why the Dutch are Differentis the story of an Englishman who went Dutch. And loved it.
Ben Coates was born in Britain in 1982, lives in Rotterdam with his Dutch wife, and now works for an international charity. During his career he has been a political advisor, corporate speechwriter, lobbyist and aid worker. He has written articles for numerous publications including theGuardian,Financial TimesandHuffington Post. ben-co...
Title:Why The Dutch Are Different: A Journey Into The Hidden Heart Of The NetherlandsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.75 × 5 × 0.75 inPublished:September 5, 2017Publisher:QuercusLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1857886852

ISBN - 13:9781857886856

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not great This is a blend of history book at travel guide and it doesn't do either particularly well. The parts about the war with Spain are a dull read, as are the sections about soccer. It was a disappointment, and as for a book about the Netherlands, it's really more about Rotterdam. It's not that it's "bad" it' just not very engaging, and his attempts at humor fall flat, and it drags on too long at various points.
Date published: 2018-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy, Funny, Meaningful Read! Humorously and elegantly written by Ben Coates, this book is a must read for anyone who is Dutch or knows someone who is Dutch. This gem covers Dutch history, current Dutch issues, but with a focus on appreciating, understanding, and having a good time with the Dutch! From mentioning recognizable Dutch food names in Dutch as the occasions for them come up, to "visiting" a museum that can actually sail off, and also encouraging the exploration of perhaps less appreciated Dutch places by the telling of charming stories of the background of those places, this book is a fun read. Plus, I also bonded with my Dutch father by reading it, as I had handfuls of questions for him while reading, and he had plenty of Dutch memories to share. Thanks for a book that I loved sharing!
Date published: 2018-06-28

Editorial Reviews

A striking portrait of the Netherlands in the 21st century, offering a refreshing and long overdue update of the way the Dutch national character is described.-Edinburgh Book Review